Graffiti on a wall in Medellin's Comuna 13

The Evolution of the Notorious Comuna 13 in Medellin

Mark Stewart Destinations 9 Comments

For years, Medellin was the most dangerous city in the world. Between Pablo Escobar and the drug cartels vying for control, and the military attempting to control them; to leftist revolutionary guerrillas and the privately funded right-wing paramilitary groups locked in conflict. Car bombs, shootings, kidnappings and outright war were commonplace in the region. While the city itself stood amongst the most violent on earth, until as recently as 2010; one neighbourhood in particular ranked deadliest of all. The neighbourhood …

Metal plate with beans, egg and meat.

The Best Restaurants in Salento, Colombia

Mark Stewart Destinations 13 Comments

Salento is undoubtedly the most popular destination in the coffee region of the Colombian Andes. As a result, there is no shortage of food options around town. Here are our picks for the best restaurants in Salento. Whether you’re needing a huge meal to replenish your energy after hiking the beautiful Valle de Cocora or perhaps you’re searching for a quick snack to keep you going as you do some shopping around this chill town – you might as well eat …

An old castle on top of a rocky mountain.

More than Dracula’s Castle: Things to do in Bran, Romania

Mark Stewart Destinations 4 Comments

In the heart of Transylvania, nuzzled in the foothills of the Bucegi mountains, is Bran. Less than an hour by bus from Brasov, this picturesque village is one of the most popular destinations in Romania. However, it’s not the hillside houses or the gorgeous green valley that draw in the crowds. That can be found across this wonderful country. It’s the spectacular Bran Castle that has visitors arriving by the busload. But before you plan a mere day trip to …

Green jungle with cloudy sky

The Tragic Recent History of Minca, Colombia’s Backpacker Hideaway

Mark Stewart Destinations Leave a Comment

Minca. For most Colombia travellers, the name invokes thoughts of waterfalls, clean mountain air and a feeling of tranquillity. Many travellers head up to this mountain town to relax and unwind. They come to soak in the peaceful vibes on the Sierra Nevada mountains, to escape the business of Santa Marta below. Yet most of these outsiders, while they sit happily eating their açaí bowls and sipping herbal tea, remain blissfully unaware of the tragic past that haunts this peaceful mountain retreat. …

Red bus with flashy decals and stickers passing a blue building. This is one of the buses that can take you from Antigua to Panajachel

How to Get from Antigua to Panajachel, Lake Atitlan

Mark Stewart Destinations Leave a Comment

If you’re visiting Guatemala for any length of time, you’re almost guaranteed to be spending some of it in both Antigua and at Lake Atitlan. Many visitors come to Guatemala specifically for these two incredible destinations! And once you arrive, you’ll understand why. Regardless of your budget or travel style, here are some of our favourite ways to get from Antigua to Panajachel, the gateway to Lake Atitlan. As a major backpacker and tourist hub, getting to Antigua is easy from almost …

Empty baggage carousel at the airport. What to do if you need to deal with Aeromexico lost luggage

Has AeroMexico Lost your Luggage? Here’s What to Do!

Mark Stewart Opinions 14 Comments

Updated with new contacts and tracking methods! We arrived red-eyed and exhausted into Guatemala City, after 16 hours of travel paired with a good amount of airport beers. Clearing customs is a breeze, and we’re excited to get this trip going. As we reach the baggage claim, it appears that one of our bags isn’t on the carousel. We’re frantic, searching the entire baggage claim area. But the truth quickly sank in, somewhere en route, AeroMexico lost our luggage. Does …

Blue Jeep parked in a town square in front of a church.

How to get from Salento to Bogota, Colombia

Mark Stewart Destinations 8 Comments

Given Salento’s popularity with visitors and it’s proximity to Bogota, we were quite surprised at the lack of information on how to actually get there. We found dozens of posts on bus routes coming towards Salento, just nothing explaining how to actually get from Salento to Bogota. Although common sense suggests simply following one of those routes in opposite order would suffice, we’ve had some unfortunate experiences where it just wasn’t the case. After a bit of digging and several …

Two photos. A street and volcano on the left, a lifeguard tower on the right in Guatemala and El Salvador

How to Take the Local Bus from Guatemala to El Salvador

Kylee Hayes Destinations 4 Comments

Riding the famous chicken buses of Central America is a right of passage for many travellers. It’s an experience like no other. And while most travellers on the gringo trail take the shuttle between these two countries (we did the first time!), this is a much more interesting, and far cheaper method. So if you’re like us and like to save money and enjoy the thrill of local transport, here are the bus routes connecting the most popular destinations from Guatemala to El Salvador. …

Where to Eat in San Pedro Guatemala

The Best Restaurants in San Pedro la Laguna, Lake Atitlan

Mark Stewart Destinations Leave a Comment

Update Fall 2021: So happy to say that all of these fantastic restaurants are still open and thriving after the pandemic! Being the backpacker capital of Lake Atitlan, San Pedro has a ton of restaurant options. Whether you’re looking for local places to eat, vibrant pubs to meet other travellers, or grab a familiar flavour from back home, you’ll likely find it at a restaurant in San Pedro. Since our last visit, we’ve updated this list with a few of …

Hands holding a plate with a fried tortilla, topped with lettuce, meat, cabbage, egg and sauce in Antigua

A Budget Guide to the Best Restaurants in Antigua, Guatemala

Mark Stewart Destinations Leave a Comment

Antigua is the most architecturally stunning city in Guatemala and is undoubtedly the most visited in the country. This UNESCO-listed town is not only home to some of the most well-preserved colonial architecture in the region, but also some mind-blowing food. With dozens of options, from high-end steakhouses to western fast-food chains, it can be difficult to find delicious cheap eats in Antigua. So we’ve put together a list of some of the best restaurants in Antigua, Guatemala that have …